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New Bosch ECO2 Navigation System Optimizes Routes for Fuel Consumption; Testing Shows Up to 9% Fuel Savings with 9% Time Loss Compared to Fastest Route

The new ECO2 navigation system from Bosch offers pioneering route calculation that uses the communication options provided by permanently installed navigation systems networked with the vehicle as well as vehicle-specific consumption curves and characteristics to optimize for lowered fuel consumption.

The new navigation system that does not merely calculate the static average of the fastest and shortest route. The ECO2 navigation system also takes those aspects and parameters into account that are significant in terms of ecology and economy.

These include such map-based parameters as the route profile—i.e. the road classification, the town and villages that have to be driven through or the number of intersections. They also include the vehicle-specific parameters, such as the engine size, the transmission and the vehicle air resistance, along with any roof loads or trailers to be towed, and the driver-specific factors. Does the driver have more of a sporty driving style, with frequent acceleration and braking phases, or does s/he usually drive at the recommended speeds and drive defensively, anticipating traffic conditions ahead?

To obtain the best possible balance of energy on different types of routes and sections of routes, all the streets and roads with the same characteristics in the routing area concerned are divided into individual sections. The points between the different sections are marked by nodes, such as changes in road classification and intersections or entry and exit ramps, which are likely to use more fuel by requiring the driver to accelerate or brake or potentially involve waiting time with frequent starts and stops.

A left turn, for example, is calculated with a longer waiting time and higher fuel consumption than a turn to the right. These parameters provide the basis to calculate the average speed it will take to drive through the individual sections.

Different speed-dependent fuel consumption curves are used to map the vehicle-specific characteristics in the ECO2 nav’s route calculation algorithms, such as air and roll resistance or the engine power of the corresponding vehicle. This vehicle-specific information is provided by the car-makers. Additional parameters for such vehicle accessories as roof boxes or trailers can also be integrated.

In addition, the driver’s own behavior is taken into consideration, using a model-based description of the individual’s driving style, whereby the driver can select from three different driving profiles for the route in question—sporty, normal or eco.

Extensive ECO2 trials run by Bosch engineers using realistic routes show an average of 9% in fuel savings with 9% in time loss compared to the fastest route. With a driving time of an hour, for example, this translates as a negligible increase of less than six minutes with significant fuel savings at the same time.

The new ECO2 nav system will be ready to go into production in the summer of 2010 and will then be subsequently integrated into the navigation systems of a number of different vehicles.



"Extensive ECO2 trials run by Bosch engineers using realistic routes show an average of 9% in fuel savings with 9% in time loss compared to the fastest route. "

Wow. By simply driving slower I can get at least double the energy savings with a 9% time loss. This is backwards engineering.


Unfortunately, a lot of draconian measures on non-trunk routes: excessive traffic calming, forests of traffic lights, speed limit reductions and so-on now force people to clog up motorways and cause long crocodiles of traffic behind slow vehicles on single carriageway trunk routes. It's very frustrating driving a road that's supposed to be best for eco speeds, when getting to that eco-speed is impossible due to someone in front driving at 35-40mph.

I get my best mileage on motorways (60+ mpg in an 1997 Audi A6 2.5TDi) if I stick to 65-70mph. On less obstructed trunk routes such as those in Scotland I can get 50-55mpg, if I can use 6th gear at a pretty constant 55-60mph (not possible if Albert and Ethel are causing a 35 mph queue admiring the maountains instead of paying attention to the road).


1) On highways that's certainly the case but is it also true for urban areas such as 30mph zones?
2) It might be easier to get drivers to change routes than to change driving styles.


I think for this to really work in the US, particularly urban areas, would be for the system to have access to real time traffic data, real time stop light data, be able to navigate you around and through the area based on these data, while being able to tell you to speed up / slow down as you are going through the optimum route. Since I believe the chance of cities / counties / municipalities broadcasting real time stop light data is slim to none, the ECO2 system is really pointless irrelevant product few will buy thinking they are are really reducing CO2 emissions with it. Bosch should be working on "bigger fish to fry" like eliminating the ICE. However, this is ultimately about making money and if they can turn a profit selling a flawed product by conning greenies --- then I support profits.



I have a very hard time to believe that your car is most fuel efficient at 65-70 mph. For most cars the optimal speed regarding fuel efficiency is in the 40-50 mph range. How did you determine that? Did you properly measure that, or is it a hunch? Remember that to properly measure that, you have to keep all other factors constant: compare 70 mph on the highway with 60 mph on the highway, not compare 70 mph on the highway with 55 mph on a trunk road.

And I think that no one is driving 35-40 mph on a motorway out of free will. Only in dense traffic that simply doesn't go any faster. And I am certainly not advocating the Albert and Ethel driving style.



1) Driving in urban areas is different because of the frequent stops. Lowering your cruising speed from 30 mph to 20 mph will probably not yield positive results. But there is a catch. A Schumacher-like driving style of jackrabitting from corner to corner and from traffic light to traffic light will increase your fuel consumption a lot, while yielding very little in terms of time. The optimal speed depends on how long you can expect to maintain it.

2) I think I agree.



"...if they can turn a profit selling a flawed product by conning greenies..."

Real geenies don't drive cars. :-)


Just what is a "geenie" Anne??



65-70 mph seems to work best for that car because it has a very tall 6th gear, so at 70mph the engine speed is reduced to 2,000 rpm. I've measured my mileage using the car's mpg computer over a long journey, using motorways and dual carriageways. And this had been confirmed when I have filled the tank.

Driving in the same gear at 50mph is only possible on the flat, and any less in 6th is simply labouring the engine. Hence, any gradients require downshifting to 5th or sometimes 4th to maintain a decent level of torque.

Our recent camping roadtrip to Scotland returned an average of 50-55 mpg (which is still very good mileage for a large saloon). Whilst highways there are relatively open, most are single carriageway, hence slower vehicles and of course gradients meant you have to use lower gears which equals higher engine speeds and more fuel being burned - that's real life driving, i'm afraid.

In theory if there is an advantage to going slower on the highway, which I interpret from your meaning to mean motorway I think the mileage gain would be negligible at best. I don't think driving at a speed less than 55-60mph would be safe, if this is constantly obstructing HGVs and other road users on a free-flowing motorway. Fine if the speed is limited to 50mph, or if congestion or weather slows traffic

In my case the better is just because of the way the car is geared (i.e. having a tall 6th which servges as an overdrive gear for long distance cruising). The higher gearing seems to offset any losses of efficiency through wind resistance. Other cars will not reach that because the gearing is different. On other cars with shorter gearing the better economy will come with slower speeds. A lot of other cars will cruise best at 50mph because the engine speed is, again, around 2,000 rpm, and of course there is less drag. My 1999 Passat 1.8T is a bit like that. It gets better mileage at 55mph (average 43-45mpg) than at 70mph (average 40-42mpg). That's because the car revs at 3,000 rpm at 70mph, rather than 2,000rpm at 50mph. But that said the difference in the figures I have measured are not that great. They would be a lot closer if the Passat had a taller 5th or a 6th gear. Taller gearing is adopted in eco-models of cars to inprove their mpg and lower their CO2 emissions.


The new 7 and 8-speed auto-transmission will further help to get lower fuel consumption at higher speeds, specially with very low drag low rolling resistance cars on well designed highways. Very tall 8th gear may require more hp at very high speeds (above 65-70 mph)


I need an ECO navigation system that gives consideration to topographical data. I live in BC so just about every trip or route I take has me going up one hill just so I can go down another. Hill climbing eats into my fuel economy more than speed.

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